CureSearch for Children's Cancer funds and supportstargeted and innovative children's cancer research with measurableresults, and is the authoritative source of information and resourcesfor all those affected by children's cancer.
Jack Hoffman is a 7-year-old boy born and raised in Atkinson, Nebraska (pop. 1,100). He has been a Cornhusker football fan his entire life. In 2010, for his fifth birthday, his parents took him to his first Husker game (photo above). His mom and dad (Bri & Andy) purchased him a Rex Burkhead No. 22 jersey for the game. Jack is no different than any other little boy growing up in the great state of Nebraska–loves to play sports, ride bike, fish, hunt, and watch Cornhusker football.
Fatefully, on April 22, 2011, Jack was life flighted to Children's Hospital Omaha after suffering a life threatening seizure. A subsequent MRI showed a mass in the left temporal lobe of his brain. On May 20, 2011, Jack underwent surgery for the removal of a brain tumor next to his brain stem. The surgery was unsuccessful as only a small amount of the tumor was removed. The remaining tumor was declared inoperable. During the spring, summer and fall months of 2011, Jack battled the onset of Secondary Epilepsy–a condition caused by the tumor. During this time, Jack suffered frequent partial seizures, sometimes upto 11 a day. The seizures persisted despite high dosages of two anti-seizure medications.
Specialists at Children's Hospital Boston were consulted in August 2011. Pediatric Neurosurgeon Liliana Goumnerova indicated that she felt she could likely safely resect the remaining tumor, and at the same time achieve seizure relief by using intraoperative electrocorticography. Jack's 2nd brain surgery in 5 months occurred at Boston on October 10th. The surgery went well, as Dr. Goumnerova removed a golf ball sized tumor. Approximately 95% of the tumor was removed, with the exception of a small spot near the brain stem. Jack was made seizure free, also.
Before the second life-threatening brain surgery, the family reached out to the University of Nebraska to see if Jack could meet Rex Burkhead before his surgery. As a result, the University extended an invitation to Jack and family to make the 4 hour drive to the Stadium. During this September 2011 visit, Rex spent several hours with Jack and the family—giving them a tour, having lunch together, and just hanging out. This one experience evolved into a remarkable friendship between a 6-year old boy and a major college football player. During the 2011 campaign, Rex wore a wristband that said: “Team Jack-Pray.” Rex’s support landed him the Rare Disease Champion Award presented by Uplifting Athletes. Rex’s benevolence has helped place pediatric brain cancer on the national agenda.
Regrettably, an MRI in April of 2012 revealed a significant growth of the remaining "spot." It is inoperable. Doctors decided that chemotherapy was the next step. On April 27, 2012 Jack began 60 weeks of chemotherapy at Children’s Hospital Omaha. The chemotherapy regimen that Jack is taking is a 25-year old treatment, as medical advancements in this therapy have languished due to a severe lack of funding.
Jack's Mom and Dad are determined to help find an effective cure for pediatric brain cancer. As a result they have partnered with CureSearch for Children's Cancer, a national non-profit foundation which funds children's cancer research. The family is raising money for the "Team Jack Legacy Fund," a CureSearch research fund they created (teamjack.curesearch.org). All money raised for this fund will support pediatric brain cancer research.
April 8, 2013HuffingtonPost.com
CureSearch congratulates one of its youngest supporters on his outstanding touchdown at Nebraska's spring football game this past Saturday.
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April 8, 2013
The Nebraska Legislature, on Monday, passed a resolution expressing appreciation for Jack's touchdown run, his battle with brain cancer, and his fundraising efforts with CureSearch. Use this link to view the full document.